Pass or Fail: Does Nascar Make the Grade (or are They Just Driving in Circles)?

Pass or Fail: Does Nascar Make the Grade?
By Beau Pingree // Published on Jul 21, 2017

Does the new logo have anything to do with the past?

NASCAR (National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing) has recently updated their logo and brand identity in an attempt to refresh their brand as a whole. In their history, NASCAR has had four logos; three of which looked nearly identical, and a fourth, which has been the face of the brand since 1975. The new design is intended to be concise, relevant, and functional; while simultaneously incorporating marks from the previous four logos, as a tribute to its history.

Comparing the company’s original three logos to the new updated mark, one may notice virtually zero similarities. This opposes the company Senior VP’s statement; “It was important for us to recognize our history and implement a piece of each previous mark in the new design.” However, this is not a bad thing: the first three logos are not, shall we say, aesthetically sound. Instead, it appears the new logo is a revamped, slightly more concise, version of the logo, which has stood for the last 30+ years.


Statistics show that NASCAR may just be the 2nd most watched professional “league” behind the NFL. To totally scrap the face of the brand for the last 30 years is aggressive and unnecessary for a company that is still thriving. What they needed is exactly what they accomplished: a quick touch up. The company scrapped the ugly magenta in the previous logo’s mark, and left just the driving primary colors. They shortened this graphic to about 1/3 the size of the acronym “NASCAR,” and allowed the company name to follow in its original font. The primary colors allow the logo to blend well in any setting, and the acronym “NASCAR” in the original font pay homage to the prior logo.

While I feel the new logo was a great improvement, the company's attempt to pay homage to prior logos was a total flop – and really, there would have been no easily foreseeable way to achieve that kind of implementation. Less is more. NASCAR was definitely better suited to stick with what works rather than drive around in circles trying to cram in other moving elements that would have made things busier. The new mark keeps the brand moving in the right direction.

What do you think?

Tagged Under: Obscure Fun + Marketing
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